Friday, March 30, 2007

More escape plans

Next door is a very posh Persian. The length and glossiness of his fur puts William's to shame. His pedigree is longer than my tail even if he's not very bright up top. William, who I think is jealous, claims he is stupid and that his face wears a perpetual sneer. I had a look at it. I mean it's all snubbed up and it may interfere with his breathing, but actually he looks just a normal sort of feline chap apart from that and the fur. I asked him if he could make a diversion just at the moment that Gill the Cattery opens our cage - give us a chance to slip out. He said he would but he was being collected within the hour. And so it turned out. It made me feel almost ill with misery to see him in his human's arms.
Still, nil deperandum. Plan C (or is it D? or even E?) is to gnaw through the wire. I have paced right round to see if I could see a weak spot. No such luck. Did about ten minutes gnawing and my teeth hurt so much that I decided to move to Plan D ( or E or even F). An escape tunnel. Mice use them all the time. The best tunnel would be sized-up rodent tunnel but there are no mice at all here. Not a whisker of one or the tiniest flick of a mouse tail. No rats either. So I tried scratching, like one does in the litter tray, but the concrete just hurt my paws and wore my nails down to the quick. Tunnelling is for rodents only.
Plan F ( or G or H). Make a pair of wings and fly out. Birds do it all the time and we can actually see them from here. They fly in and out of the courtyard where there is a bird table. If I could get to them, I could tear off their feathers and stick them on my shoulders. But could I fly out? I lay on my back to see if I could see any weakness in the roof and wire. Nothing at all visible. And no feathers, either. So I turned to Plan G (or H or I) - feigning illness. William suggested I simply stop eating. Of course I would do so like a shot, only I think he will just eat my share and that won't help at all. I suggested he stop eating but he wasn't keen on it. He said, and it was rather hurtful, that he thought I would just eat his share. In the end I persuaded him to lie on his back and breathe heavily as if he was poorly, when Gill the Cattery came in, while I tried to sneak out.
He did but she tickled his tummy and he bit her. Again. End of Plan G (or H or I).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Escape plans

William and I have been doing some serious planning while we are banged up. We dropped the idea of building a Trojan Mouse (hoping that Gill The Cattery Owner would take it home with both of us inside it). There were two major problems. One was just the problem of how to make it. Cat biscuits obviously weren't going to be as easy as planks and nails. They wouldn't really stick together. I tried chewing and spitting out a few, to see if they made a kind of glue. They didn't. The other problem, a graver one, was the humiliation we both would feel, having to cower inside a hollow Mouse. OK, so it would be a Trojan mouse, designed as an escape unit for prisoners. But it would still be an assault on our dignity as cats.
We have dropped the idea. Even as prisoners, we felt our dignity should be preserved. They cannot take that away from us. And moreover, we have eaten all the cat biscuits placed before us, and the cooked coley for lunch, and the tinned stuff and the large biscuits which are good for our teeth and anything else set before us. The only bright spot in our days here is the food and we eat heartily to keep up our strength for further escapes. It is our duty to do so. The food is quite different from what we get at home and we relish it. We may have to work on Celia's shopping choices if we ever make it out of here.
William spent the first two days hiding in the litter box. He said he wasn't hiding. He claimed it was an undercover strategy to make Gill The Cattery Owner take pity of him and get him out of here. If it was a strategy, he blew it. When she was combing his ruff, which is coming out in chunks, he bit her yesterday. That has put an end to any hope of his appealing to her better nature. She has noticeably cooled towards him.
So it was left to me. Charm the birds off tree, I thought. Use the smarm'n'charm strategy. I wound myself round her ankles. Looked up appealingly. Rubbed against her. Chirruped. Tried sliding out of the door as she opened it. Wiggled my attractive whiskers. No luck. Nothing worked. The struggle for freedom will continue!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Get me out of here...... from prisoner, cell block G.

I am imprisoned in a small cell somewhere in the Midlands. I was betrayed utterly by my so-called friend Celia. Judas I call her. I was having an enjoyable time hanging round the hedgerows, thinking of nabbing another rabbit or perhaps a pheasant or just a nice young rat, when she called me. She called me and I, trusting her completely, came. I walked into her arms. She picked me up, stuffed me in the cat box, and drove me off, with William in the other box.
At first I thought it was just the vet. Just the vet. Just the pain of being stabbed and the horror of the surgery. But it was much much worse. She thrust me into a prison cell. With my cellmate, William, we have been locked up behind bars. We are completely and utterly shattered by the betrayal. She just walked away.....
Me and William are considering various escape plans. Perhaps we could start building a Trojan mouse out of old cat biscuits - if we hadn't eaten them all.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Yet another example of mystifying human reactions.

Steffi-Next-Door, she who admires my mousing skills and wanted to borrow me as a rodent operative, has behaved outrageously. She has been away in holiday leaving the house empty except for my visits. I quite like going there for a look round, a snack if any food is down and a nap on her bed. She is normally happy about this and welcomes my visits. But this time, when she came back from holiday, I sauntered in only to find uproar. She was very emotional. Very. I had expected praise. It's not every day that a cat can kill a full grown pheasant. I thought she might like to share in my pleasure and may be even share a bit of the bird. (Well, perhaps not. Cats don't share). Anyway I thought at least she would admire my hunting skills and the way I had branched out from mice and small birds to large rabbits and equally large pheasants. She was the one who had kind things to say about my mousing. She admired it. My present of feathers was even better. Spectacular is what I would have called it.
Did she appreciate it? Heck, she did not. "Ohmigod! Look at this huge heap of feathers. I can't bear to clear it up," she wailed. I slunk off. Humans are completely unpredictable. Maybe it's a good thing Celia mowed their lawn while they were away. They seemed almost hostile for a moment.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Crufts Dog Show - would you breed from the judges?

I was going to be left alone at home (well with only Ronnie and William), deserted in favour of a lot of dogs. Celia was thinking of going to Crufts Dog show until some sort of flu made her decide to stay at home. Why dogs would appeal to her, I can't think. Noisy animals who are stupid enough to allow humans to tell them what to do - and then actually to do it. Dogs have no independance of mind, no persistence in the face of human stupidity and seem incapable of doing their own thing. They spend a lot of time at Crufts just sitting on a bench or locked up in a crate (to protect them from passing humans muttering "Good Boy" and interfering with them by patting their heads). Then there are hours being groomed. You see them posed on grooming stands while people fix their hair. It goes on for hours and hours. Then it is into a small ring, one or two circuits, then more standing around in a silly and unnatural position with legs stretched back. An elderly human male or female then starts running his or her hands all over them, right into the intimate bits. It's sexual harassment of a gross kind.
And, my dear, the people. Nothing for a beauty parade there. Have you seen the judges? Talk about hereditary faults - hip dysplasia, loss of hair, no tails, poor eyesight, false teeth, and completely dry noses. And you can see that some of them have cheated with plastic surgery - not just the women, either. All in all, judges are not the sort of humans you'd want to breed from and yet none of them are spayed or neutered. Any sensible dog would bite. Hard. But they don't - dogs are natural wimps.
How do I know all this? Well "Best in Show" is one of Celia's favourite movies. As for cat shows, I wouldn't let Celia even think about it. I'd indubitably win - black, glossy, long tailed, and of an athletic build. But I don't fancy hours of just sitting in a cage being looked at. My life is the life of a true cat - mousing, birding, having a crack at rabbits, hanging out, inspecting the garden pond, hovering at the door until Celia opens it instead of using the cat flap, and popping in for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea, supper and late supper. You wouldn't get me into a show cage.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Home improvements - a new morning alarm call device

For once, Celia has made a real home improvement for me. Normally I dislike any change whatsoever to my home territory. Thoughtless humans go in for quite unnecessary alterations sometimes involving the intrusion of hunky men with builders' bottoms, dust, grinding and hammering noises, and a radio set loudly to Radio 1. (My musical tastes are classical as you can see from my profile.) This particular home improvement involved only a short visit, a little bit of hammering, but no dust. The intruder hung up blinds in my bedroom, the one I generously allow Celia to share with me. Celia's aim seems to have been to cut out the morning light which conveniently wakes her up in late spring around the time that I think is suitable - somewhere near 6am most mornings. She hopes to drowse in bed for a further hour. Luckily, although the light is now much reduced, the intruder has thoughtfully installed a wake-up device which I easily mastered. It consists of three pieces of rope with a nice little plastic toggle on the end. When the blind is pulled down this hangs down to the windowsill where I can reach it. This morning I woke her without any difficulty at all at 6am by swinging the toggle and smashing it against the windowpane several times.
Neat, eh? More fun that scratching the bed and less trouble than sitting on her face.

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online